- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
The USA Today coaches' poll is shrouded in secrecy until the final ballots are out. Then it becomes very interesting to see how each coach -- especially those with some serious self-interest at stake -- ranked the teams. You can see how each coach voted here.
Here's a look at how the Big Ten coaches who participated in the polls ranked:
Wisconsin's Bret Bielema: He had Oklahoma State second and Alabama third and ranked his own Badgers sixth, one spot ahead of Rose Bowl opponent Oregon. He also had Michigan ninth and Michigan State 15th. Nebraska was 18th on his ballot, with Penn State 24th and Northern Illinois -- coached by former assistant Dave Doeren -- 23rd.
Michigan State's Mark Dantonio: Dantonio had Alabama No. 2 and Oklahoma State third. As far as Big Ten teams, he put Wisconsin eighth, his own Spartans 12th, Michigan 13th, Nebraska 19th and Penn State 22nd. Dantonio ranked Georgia, his team's Outback Bowl opponent, No. 16.
Michigan's Brady Hoke: He preferred Alabama over Oklahoma State and had Wisconsin eighth, his own team 11th and Michigan State 13th. Nebraska was 18th on his ballot, with Penn State at No. 20.
Nebraska's Bo Pelini: He had Alabama No. 2 instead of Oklahoma State. Pelini also ranked Wisconsin sixth, Michigan State 10th, Michigan 11th, his own Cornhuskers 16th and Penn State 22nd.
Indiana's Kevin Wilson: The first-year Hoosiers coach chose Alabama second with Oklahoma State third. He placed Wisconsin eighth, Michigan 11th, Michigan State 14th, Nebraska 19th and Penn State 23rd.
Illinois' Ron Zook: The now-former Illini coach went with Oklahoma State at No. 2 ahead of Alabama. He had Wisconsin sixth, Michigan ninth, Michigan State 11th, Nebraska 17th and Penn State 23rd.
A couple of other interesting nuggets from the ballots:
Les Miles is apparently still a Michigan Man at heart. The Hat ranked the Wolverines No. 8 -- eight spots ahead of Michigan State.
Virginia's Mike London, a rumored candidate for the Penn State job, left the Nittany Lions out of his Top 25. Guess he's not going to State College.
Frank Beamer had his Virginia Tech team 13th, one spot ahead of Allstate Sugar Bowl opponent Michigan.
Art Briles apparently wasn't impressed by the Big Ten title game. The Baylor coach ranked Wisconsin 16th and Michigan State 21st. Curiously, he did have Michigan at No. 11
Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora and Buffalo's Jeff Quinn each have Wisconsin at No. 5.
Alabama's Nick Saban ranked Oklahoma State No. 4. No conflict of interest there. (At least that was better than Air Force's Troy Calhoun, who had the Pokes at No. 5). Saban also didn't show much love to one of his former schools, putting Michigan State at No. 17 with Michigan at No. 9.
Houston's Kevin Sumlin ranked Michigan State 21st, a full 10 spots behind Michigan. Guess the Spartans' two-touchdown win in East Lansing didn't register much.
The USA Today coaches' poll is shrouded in secrecy until the final ballots are out. Then it becomes very interesting to see how each coach -- especially those with some serious self-interest at stake -- ranked the teams.